Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recovering from Climate Change

From Julia at Color Me Green

Like many people, I spent my Memorial Weekend at the beach - specifically, my parents's beach house on Long Beach Island along the Jersey shore. During Hurricane Sandy, whole sections of the island were flooded. My parents' street was under three feet of water, but their house is up five feet, so it was okay. The dunes eroded right underneath the waterfront homes and sand had to be shoveled out of the streets like snow.

After Sandy, I wondered what summer beaching would be like. Well, six months later, business is relatively back to normal on LBI. I was truly surprised by how many businesses that had been completely flooded were already gutted, repaired and opened back up. There was a lot of Sandy damage in New York City too, but it makes more sense to me that a major business center would have the need and resources to recover quickly. However, the Jersey shore is for most residents a secondary home, and I was surprised to see how much money and attention it was able to get.

Extreme weather that seems linked to climate change is happening now, but we are currently resilient and can afford to repair the damage. Sandy cost $50 billion in damage. Maybe if natural disasters like tornadoes and droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes keep happening, we won't be able to bounce back so quickly. Maybe large scale government funding and resources will be drained and dry up. Apocolyptic scenarios conjure images of sudden cataclysmic events that will alter our lives. But maybe it's going to be more gradual than that.

1 comment:

Christy said...

I have had a similar reaction to the flooding in Calgary. The Stampede is an annual tradition in Calgary and the city was able to clean up and put on the big event just a few short weeks after the flood. The Sadledome arena, which was a literal swimming pool was hosting events last week. I live in Vancouver and was not able to witness the events in person but a friend who volunteers at the Stampede posted photos of the fun and I was shocked at how quickly they bounced back. But if these events become more frequent and severe how quickly will everyone be able to return to normalcy?


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